BlackBerry Torch 9860 Review

By on August 21, 2011
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The full touch BlackBerry makes a comeback.

Good: Beautiful display, good battery life and zippy performance
Bad: Not the best looking device, plastic screen and lacks the biggest strength of a BlackBerry- the keyboard,
Price: AED 2,200 (Expected)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

All of the three devices that RIM announced recently- the Bold 9900, the Torch 9810 and the Torch 9860 have the identical 1.2GHz single core Qualcomm CPU and 768MB of RAM. On the storage side, the Torch 9860 has 4GB of space for storing your media files and documents which is half of what you get on the Bold 9900 but identical to the Torch 9800.

The distinguishing feature of the Torch 9860 is the 3.7” capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels. Not only is the screen the largest in size that RIM has ever used on a Smartphone, but it also has the highest resolution than any other BlackBerry device. Although the resolution is still a bit shy of iPhone’s retina display, it is pretty much on par with higher-end Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy SII.

For some reason, RIM chose plastic instead of glass for the touch screen- distancing the Torch 9860 far from the premium finish found on the Bold 9900. The good thing is that this is purely an aesthetics issue and the functionality doesn’t get effected. I was able to scroll and flip through anything and everything just like I would on a glass-screen based Smartphone. My only concern is that over time, the plastic screen might get scratched which could possibly effect the functionality and performance of the device.

Obviously, one of the most important aspects of the Torch 9860 is it’s onscreen keyboard and although I much prefer a hard keyboard, I must say that RIM has done a pretty good job with the soft keyboard on this device. The keys look a bit smaller than the iPhone or Android but work equally well with auto-correction. You can switch to a “Reduced Keyboard” mode that makes the keyboard more like the one found on the Pearl range of devices. This is helpful for people with larger hands.The following video shows you the interface and the onscreen keyboard of the Torch 9860.

[viddler id-8076e37e h-480 w-600]

Like the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Torch 9860 proved to be extremely zippy with the Sun Spider JavaScript test completing in 2997ms. When I reviewed the Bold 9900, this was the best score on a mobile device however, the Atrix has landed in my office which, with it’s dual core CPU proved to be a bit faster than the new generation of BlackBerry devices.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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